See Search Box
lower down this column for searches of Finfacts news pages. Where there may be
the odd special character missing from an older page, it's a problem that
developed when Interactive Tools upgraded to a new content management system.
Finfacts is Ireland's leading business information site and
you are in its business news section.
The Deutsche Bank towers in Frankfurt, seen through artist Max Bill's statue Continuity - - Durch die Statue 'Kontinuität' von Max Bill
Germany’s biggest bank, today reported a loss in fourth-quarter profit as
Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis crimped trading and the company booked writedowns
Net income fell to a €351m loss from
€707m profit a year earlier, the company said today in
For the full year, pretax profit at the corporate
and investment bank and private clients and asset management unit totaled €6.6bn
in 2011 after €1bn in charges at the investment bank and €200m in “special net
negative impacts” at the private and business clients division, Deutsche Bank
Ackermann, chairman of the Management Board who is due to retire in May said:
"Once again, Deutsche Bank has proved its ability to
deliver substantial earnings in challenging conditions. In 2011, our classic
banking business produced record earnings, thus counterbalancing the impact of
weak markets in investment banking. We also significantly strengthened our
capital base, boosted our liquidity reserves and reinforced our funding
position. All in all, we have built an excellent platform to continue on the
successful path of recent years."
Royal Dutch Shell
said reported today that that its 2011 net profit surged by 54% to $30.9bn,
boosted by higher energy prices. The profit after tax figure compared with net
income of $20.5bn during 2010, Shell said.
Sony on Thursday more than doubled its full-year
net loss forecast to $2.9bn, a day after the Japanese electronics giant said CEO
Howard Stringer would resign.
reports that commodity shipping costs slumped to the lowest in a quarter
century as a glut of new carriers overwhelmed demand at a time of slowing
global economic growth.
The Baltic Dry Index (BDIY), a measure of costs across four vessel sizes,
retreated 2.6% to 662 points today, according to the London-based Baltic
Exchange, which publishes rates across more than 50 maritime routes. The gauge
fell 61% this year and is now at its lowest since August 1986. Rates for Capesizes, the largest iron ore and coal carriers, dropped 84% since
Stock markets rise on optimism around global manufacturing: Conall Mac
Coille, chief economist at Davy comments -- "Stock markets rose sharply
yesterday (February 1st) as optimism on the prospects for global manufacturing
grew following a pick-up in purchasing manager indices (PMIs) for the sector.
Yesterday's releases showed that PMIs for manufacturing rose in January across
China, the euro area, the UK and the US – buoying expectations that the global
manufacturing sector may rebound in the first quarter. The Euro Stoxx 50 was up
2.24%, the FTSE 100 1.92% and the Dow Jones industrial average 0.7%.
With growth expectations and risk appetite improving, German bund prices
fell as yields on Italian and Spanish debt reached new lows. The yield on
10-year Spanish government bonds fell to 4.85%, its lowest level since November
2010. The yield on 10-year Italian debt declined to 5.68%, it lowest level since
October 2011. With the ECB's next long-term repo operation at end-February now
firmly on the horizon, Ireland government bond yields have not been left behind
by increased demand for sovereign debt. Yields on Irish government bonds
continue to fall and are down roughly 1.8% across the curve since the beginning
of January, with the yield on the benchmark seven-year bond closing at 6.8%
Today attention will be focused on the US labour market, ahead of Friday's
releases of services sector PMIs for the major economies and US non-farm
payrolls for January. US initial jobless claims data released this afternoon are
expected to show a marginal fall to 371,000 in the week to January 28th,
maintaining their downward trend since the middle of 2011 and reinforcing the
view that the labour market continues to strengthen.
Yesterday's ADP survey indicated that US employment expanded by 170,000 in
January. That said, the ADP survey has been significantly stronger than the
official non-farm payrolls data in recent months. So the market has taken a
relatively conservative view that payrolls will grow by just 145,000 in
December. Although weaker than the 200,000 jobs growth recorded in December, if
realised, the market's expectation for US payrolls in January may still buoy
more optimistic expectations for growth."
Economic View: Agreement close on PSI with growth-linked bonds likely to
be used; Dermot O'Leary, chief economist at Goodbody, comments --
"Although they have disappointed before, the latest reports suggest that an
agreement on burden-sharing between Greece and its creditors is imminent. Greek
media report this morning that a coupon of 3.6%-3.7% will be agreed for the new
bonds that investors are swapping into, while a 70% NPV loss will be introduced.
The final issue that still has to be resolved is a step-up in the coupon on the
bonds for investors should growth exceed forecasts over the next number of
years. Interestingly, this idea of “growth-linked bonds” was mooted in relation
to Ireland by the Irish Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan in April last
From the investors’ point of view, given that they are taking a hit on their
investment, it makes sense to push for these safeguards, as, in the case of
Greece, investors obviously fear that growth prospects are being underestimated
by the Troika. The principal of growth-linked bonds could also apply to some of
the loans being provided to other programme countries. Originally, high interest
rates on the loans to Ireland, Portugal and Greece made it very difficult to see
how these countries could restore debt sustainability. Decisions made at
European level last August to reduce interest rates helped, but there is still
some merit to looking at the benefits of the proposals in Greece on the official
Greece is far from out of the woods even if agreement on PSI is reached and hard
default is avoided. It looks likely that as well as PSI, there will have to be
OSI (Official Sector Involvement) at some stage in the future if debt
sustainability is to be achieved. That puts the ECB’s holdings of Greek bonds
firmly in the spotlight."
Eamonn Hughes, head of research ad Goodbody, made the following comments:
Aer Lingus (Buy, Closing Price €0.87); Aer Lingus Regional model
continues to expand: "Aer Lingus has announced that it is extending its
venture with Aer Arran, with the latter now operating an additional two routes
under the Aer Lingus Regional (ALR) banner. The services will be from Dublin to
Bournemouth in the UK and Shannon to Rennes in France.
The extent of the ALR business indicates on-going success from this business
model. An update on progress will be next available at the annual results on
Irish Financials 1; Loan demand remains weak and mortgage standards
continue to tighten: "The Central Bank yesterday released its January bank
lending survey results. The responses feed into the wider ECB bank lending
In relation to mortgages, the survey responses indicated a tightening of credit
standards in Q4, with further tightening anticipated in Q112. Loan demand
continued to weaken in Q4. On other personal lending, loan standards were
unchanged, though there was still a further decrease in loan demand. On the
business side, credit standards were unchanged, but a further decrease in demand
from enterprises was recorded. On the funding side, there was a deterioration in
retail and wholesale funding for banks in Q4, with access to funding expected to
remain broadly unchanged in Q112.
The deterioration in loan demand impacting every asset class is no surprise to
us. However, it is interesting to note the anticipated tightening of lending
standards in the mortgage space, which presumably doesn’t auger well for lending
in Q1. The funding comment strikes us as too negative given the broad
stabilisation in deposit levels in Q4 and the opening up of the LTRO issuance
Irish Financials 2; Fitch affirms ratings, negative outlook on Irish
banks: "Fitch yesterday affirmed the ratings of AIB, BOI, IL&P and IBRC. All
were on ratings watch negative (RWN), but the affirmation of the ratings removes
the RWN threat, imposed on 20 December. However, they still have negative
outlooks. The latter reflects the weak macro outlook and the ratings of the
banks may suffer if the macro backdrop deteriorates further.
The affirmation of the ratings of the banks is welcome but merely reflects the
position of the sovereign’s ratings on January 27.
Economy Is Nothing Like 2008: O'Neill: Jim O'Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, told CNBC, "we came into the year with people fearing 08 if not worse and the evidence from all over the place is that it is nothing like 08, at the core of the Eurozone is that Germany appears to be accelerating":
In New York Wednesday, the
Dow rose 83 points or 0.66% to 12,716.
The S&P 500 added 0.89%
and the Nasdaq advanced 1.22%.
The MSCI Asia
Pacific Index rose 1.2% Thursday.
Nikkei 225 gained 0.75%; China’s Shanghai Composite
Index climbed 1.96%. South
Korea's Kospi index rose 1.26%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1.00% and the
Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex 30 index in Mumbai climbed 0.64%
The skyscrapers and
immaculate beaches of Singapore's seaport look out on one of the world’s largest
parking lots: mile after mile of empty cargo ships, as far as the eye can see.
Similar fleets bob at anchor,
with empty cargo holds, off the coasts of southeast Malaysia and Hong Kong. And
dozens of newly built ships float empty near the giant shipyards of South Korea
and China, their owners from all over the world reluctant to accept delivery
during one of the worst markets ever for the global shipping industry.
As recently as six weeks ago
large freighters that can carry bulk commodities like iron ore or grain were
fetching charter rates of $15,000 a day. Now, brokers and owners say, the going
rate is $6,000 a day. If any customers can even be found.
between the US benchmark WTI (West Texas Intermediate) used on the New York
Mercantile Exchange and Brent is over $14 - - The Globe and Mail says that for
the past 10 months, Canadian producers - - whose prices are tied to WTI - - have
been taking steep discounts for their oil compared with international crude
prices that are benchmarked against North Sea Brent, which can be shipped more
readily. In the past, WTI tended to trade at a small premium to Brent, because
it is easier to refine.
hit a peak of $28.08 (US) on Oct. 14, but has fallen dramatically since then.
After plans for more pipeline capacity at Cushing, Oklahoma, the differential